Civil Division

Small Claims

A small claims case is filed in County Civil Court to settle legal disputes where the dollar amount involved is $8,000 or less, excluding costs, interest and attorneys' fees.

Filing a Small Claims Case

Download and complete a Plain Statement of Claim and a Notice to Appear for a Pretrial Conference, or purchase the Small Claims packet.

Small claims cases may be filed:

For Clerk addresses and locations – see our Locations section.

Requirements for Filing a Small Claims Case

Small claims cases may be filed by:

  • An individual (18 years and older)
  • A partnership - each partner’s full name, address and phone number are required
  • A corporation - full legal business name, address and phone number are required

The same information must be provided for the party you are filing a claim against.

If the claim is based on a written document, a copy of the document must be attached to the Statement of Claim.

If a plaintiff or his/her attorney fail to appear on the designated court date, the judge may dismiss the claim. 

If at any time in the proceeding a settlement is reached between the parties, the plaintiff must notify the Clerk's Office in writing.

You must advise the Clerk’s Office in writing of any change in your mailing address.

Any judgment debtor has 10 days to file a motion for a new trial and 30 days to file an appeal. The Clerk's Office cannot assist with the filing of an appeal.

See the Small Claims FAQ section to get answers to frequently asked questions. 

Filing Fees

See - County Civil Filing Fees section.

Self Help Center - Small Claims

The Clerk’s Office has a Self Help Center that is designed to provide legal assistance to Orange County citizens who do not have a private attorney.

The Self Help Center staff can assist customers in the filing of small claims cases.

Self Help Center services include attorney consultations, form completion assistance and notary and copy services.

To learn more about the Clerk’s Self Help Center, including how to schedule low-cost attorney consultations, visit the Self Help Center section of our website.